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TV premiere of heart-warming kids' film about grief ends 2020 Winter Solstice on TG4
16 Dec 2020 : News Desk
Sol debuts on TG4 at 6:30pm this Monday.
An inspiring film about a little boy’s journey through grief, Sol premieres in the UK and Republic of Ireland on the darkest night of the year, Winter Solstice, this Monday, December 21st.

Sol aims to bring light and comfort to families with young children as the darkest year in modern times draws to a close. Recognising the need nationwide for such a topical film, multiple TV broadcasters have come together to premiere Sol across seven platforms on the same day. 

Sol will air on TG4 (in Irish), S4C (in Welsh), and BBC ALBA (in Scottish Gaelic) at 6:30 pm; then on CiTV (with English subtitles) at 7:30 pm; and will also be available on ITV Hub, All 4, and My5 (with English subtitles) from 7:30 pm.

The 28-minute animated film, created and produced by Holywood-based Paper Owl Films, received funding from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, the Screen Fund, and the British Film Institute’s Young Audiences Content Fund. The film was commissioned by Celtic broadcasters TG4, S4C, and BBC ALBA, and is distributed by Aardman.

Featuring a boy called Sol whose world is plunged into darkness when his beloved grandmother dies; the film explores the different aspects of grief (shock, yearning, disorientation, and resolution) through the eyes of a child. But Sol’s message is uplifting. Sent on an urgent quest to find the light that has gone out in the world, Sol’s adventurous journey enables him to realise his love for his grandmother is greater than the pain of his loss.

The film has been created as a vital and relevant resource to help children and families cope with grief and is especially poignant after such a difficult year nationwide. It is hoped the storyline and characters will help spark conversations amongst teachers, parents, and young children about how to manage your feelings after the death of a loved one.

Emmy award-winning Irish actor Fionnuala Flanagan voices Sol’s grandmother alongside Myra Zepf (author and winner of Ireland’s Children’s Book of the Year prize) voices Sol’s mother. Sol himself is voiced by 12-year-old Zana Akkoç. The film’s song has been recorded by Moya Brennan, a member of Celtic folk band, Clannad.

Now, more than ever, children need strong visual stories to help them deal with unfamiliar emotions and to inspire a way forward full of optimism,” said Grainne McGuinness, Creative Director of Paper Owl Films.

The BFI’s Head of Young Audiences Fund, Jackie Edwards said: “’Sol is about remembering, with love, those we’ve lost, knowing we’re not alone and encouraging families to talk about their loss.  Far too many children and young people are experiencing grief this year, and so we wanted to create a moment to pause and reflect, and for public service broadcasters to come together and co-transmit this special film to as many of this country’s young people as possible to support them to find light in the darkness.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “We are very proud to support this beautiful project from Paper Owl Films via our Irish Language Broadcast Fund and Screen Fund. This is the first time that we and the indigenous broadcasters have partnered to produce an original animation. 2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty and loss for so many, ‘Sol’ is just the type of content we need right now, especially for younger audiences who may be struggling to make sense of it all. We are certain ‘Sol’ will be a real hit with viewers when it airs across the UK and Ireland on the Winter Solstice.”

The Albert calculator and sustainable production certification was used to measure and reduce the production’s carbon footprint.

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